Happiness is a very basic need: just look at your own kids! If they haven’t gotten enough sleep or food or wholesome activity throughout the day, they’re going to be unhappy. And grumpy. Just because you’re a grownup now (and a mom!), your need for happiness hasn’t gone away…you may have just put it on the back-burner for the sake of meeting your kids’ needs instead. You may think you’re doing the right thing as a parent, but are you really? BIG MISTAKE.
Renowned psychologist Dr. Carolyn Pape Cowan,PhD, from the University of California, insists that if you really want your kids to be happy (and what parent doesn’t?), Mom has to be happy. It is possible to predict how well children will do emotionally, socially and academically by looking at how well their parent is doing (Discovery Health). Don’t be a Martyr Mom-be good to yourself! Here are 3 of our favorite tips to help you be happier in 2016.
#1 New Year Tip for Mom: Set Up a Regular Bedtime-for YOU!
What’s that, you say? Schedule sleep? Yup. Your little ones have a regular bedtime, so why shouldn’t Mom? Too often, moms feel the need to work late into the night, either cleaning, doing laundry, or even getting caught up on their jobs. It may seem like a good idea, since that may be the only time you have to yourself during the day. But studies show that a parent loses about 350 hours of sleep over a baby’s first year! If you’re still losing sleep by choice once the kids are older, your health is adversely affected, your daytime productivity goes down, and you’re grumpy. Bottom line: You won’t be happy.
Check out this chart from the National Sleep Foundation to see how much sleep you should be getting each night. Then commit to doing everything possible to making it happen!
#2 New Year Tip for Mom: Ask for Help-It’s OK. Really.
Super Mom is a fantasy. Seriously. Recite that to yourself over and over and over. Once you let go of that unrealistic expectation, it’s easier to ask for help from people around you who are glad to give it. If you can’t afford a babysitter or don’t have a partner who can take over parenting duties for a while, ask a relative or friend to give you a break for a couple of hours. You can always return the favor for them later! Use that time to do something completely unrelated to being a mom that restores your sanity and/or reminds you of who you are, separate from your parental role. This simple act can help ward off depression, anxiety, and stress. Plus, it’s fun! Aaaaaaaah.
#3 New Year Tip for Mom: Cuddle Up, Buttercup-Yup, It Works.
If you want to be happy, canoodle with your kids more (with your partner too, if you have one). In turn, when you’re happy you want to hug. It’s a beautiful, delightful, fabulous circle of physical contact whose benefits are so wonderful you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing it all along. Little kids are always game for a snuggle-with teenagers it’s a little trickier. But if you catch them in the right mood, they’ll love it, and so will you! Among other health benefits, hugging stimulates serotonin and endorphins, which make you feel GOOOOOD (Richardson).
Still have doubts? Check out this great article that explains, in great detail, all the physiological benefits of snuggling. Go ahead-get your bear hug on. You’ll have a happier, closer family.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few of our favorite New Year tips for mom! As a home paternity test company, we respect and value mothers who work hard each and every day to do right by their families and be the best parents they can. If you have a paternity question about one or more of your children, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself in the New Year is peace of mind through DNA testing. It can strengthen your family and-yes-help you find more happiness.
Do you have tips on how to find more happiness as a mom? Share in the comments!
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Ding, Karisa. “Sleep Deprivation and New Parents.” Sleep Deprivation and New Parents. LimeHealth, 11 Mar. 2015. Web. 29 Dec. 2015. <http://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/parenting-31/parenting-health-news-525/sleep-deprivation-and-new-parents-643886.html>.
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Sears, Ashley. “How to Make Me Time a Priority: Take the Martyr Out of Motherhood.” Quirky Inspired. N.p., 17 Jan. 2015. Web. 29 Dec. 2015. <http://quirkyinspired.com/how-to-be-a-better-mom/#_a5y_p=3201892>.
Winik, Marion. “17 Habits of Very Happy Moms.” Parents Magazine. Parents.com, n.d. Web. 29 Dec. 2015. <http://www.parents.com/parenting/moms/healthy-mom/17-habits-of-very-happy-moms/>.